by Jim Fisher
WESTON -- Weston City Council on Monday approved advertising and interviewing for the positions of police chief and street commissioner.
Monday's action was a continuation of last year's change in government and was not a disciplinary action against Police Chief Robbie Clem or Street Commissioner Stanley Lewis, said Mayor Pro Tem Betty Brooks. Mayor Jon Tucci was absent.
When the city charter was changed, it included a provision that department head positions were to be evaluated and appointed on a yearly basis. This process has proved to be extremely lengthy. Late last year, Council temporarily appointed all sitting department heads, and eventually hired a permanent city manager, finance manager and city clerk.
At least three members of the personnel interview committee said they would serve again to evaluate resumés and recommend choices to the full Council. City Manager Dan Minney said he wants to be part of the process.
Advertisements should begin next week, with a proposed May 1 cutoff date. Minney hopes to have the two positions filled before July 1, the beginning of the next fiscal year.
In other business Monday, Council:
n Approved the proposed 2004-05 city budget. The document now goes to Charleston for final state approval.
n Heard from Minney about the need to develop a city personnel policy. Minney said the city is operating under a policy developed in 1988, which he described as "sparse."
Minney said he was nearly finished with a working draft and should have a copy to Council by the June meeting to have it approved and in place by July 1.
n Proclaimed November and December 2003 and March and May 2004 as Click It or Ticket Challenge months.
n Heard from two citizens with complaints about the way the city is being run. Among the complaints: $72,000 owed to the city's Police and Fire Pension funds; Mayor Jon Tucci's alleged lack of training as the municipal police judge; alleged violations of the Open Governmental Proceedings Act; money paid into the Weston Development Authority; and the existence of the WDA itself.
n Informed citizens it is illegal to place any kind of flyer on utility poles. Police will be enforcing the ban, with a mandatory fine of $100, Brooks said.
n Heard from Minney and Lewis about a proposed schedule for street cleaning. The proposal calls for the main parts of town to be swept on Mondays and Fridays, with outlying areas swept at least a couple times a year, Lewis said. Final details still need to be ironed out, he said.
n Tabled discussion of putting out to bid grass-cutting at Macpelah Cemetery. Councilman Charlie Hathaway questioned why the city should pay for it, since the cemetery has its own board. The matter was tabled until members of the board could attend a council meeting.
n Directed City Attorney W.T. Weber III to prepare a resolution opposing the proposed water rate increase by West Virginia American Water Co.
Metro Editor Jim Fisher can be reached at 626-1446 or by e-mail at email@example.com